Previously on The Walking Dead, “Monsters”
They finally did it. The Walking Dead has broken King Ezekiel’s spirit. Killed his #BlackBoyJoy. Quieted his iambic pentameter.
Waking up under a mound of — and surrounded by — body parts will do that to ya.
Just as he’d decided to be the hero his people needed him to be, Ezekiel is taught a violent and heartbreaking lesson in being someone people are willing to die for. After realizing that they hadn’t, in fact, lost one of their ranks as he promised, the Saviors gunned down every member of The Kingdom’s crew outside Gavin’s compound. At least four died because they dove on top of their king. Zeke pulls himself from under the bodies, nursing an injured leg and spirit. His fallen brethren slowly rise as walkers, and Zeke has to crawl away from a new set of problems.
He’s rescued by one of his own, Alvaro (Carlos Navarro), who also survived the massacre, and even though Zeke tells him not to further risk his life for him, Alvaro won’t leave “your majesty.” They don’t get very far before a Savior kills Alvaro and becomes Zeke’s new escort. He’s heard the orders not to harm Rick, the widow, or the king; but more than that, this guy really just wants to talk shit.
Continuing the trend of the Saviors henchmen being the absolute worst, everything about this guy (whose name isn’t important because he’s the evil, over-the-top character meant to die in the same episode in which he’s introduced) makes you wish for his death: his large teeth, 1980s glasses, pronunciation of the word “situation,” and his annoyingly pristine khakis. Pre-apocalypse, you know This Guy voted Trump, carried a Tiki torch or two, and used the hashtag #NotAllMen.
This Guy yells at Zeke for not moving fast enough while exacerbating his leg wound. He taunts Zeke for getting others to buy into his act and then getting them killed. When Jerry finally shows up and splits This Guy in two with his battle axe, a collective cheer went up across the nation. Zeke tells Jerry to leave him, but of course he won’t. As the two prepare to take on the mini herd that’s cornered them at a gate, Jerry thanks his king for being “a cool dude.”
Meanwhile, Carol’s inside the compound killing Saviors like it’s her job. She overhears their plan to take the cache of guns to the Sanctuary and won’t let that happen. She faces off against a handful of men as they load the weapons onto a truck and deploys the harmless lady routine to draw one close enough to take hostage. But this is the Saviors, not the most loyal of men, so they opt to shoot through their comrade to get to Carol. She has the last two pinned down when she notices Jerry and Zeke on the other side of the gate, about to be swarmed by walkers.
Carol lets the Saviors get away with the guns so she can save Jerry and Zeke. Don’t fret, because at this point the episode turns into a Mission Impossible movie. Rick in a jeep and Daryl on his bike are hot on the asses of the Saviors headed for the Sanctuary. Daryl shoots and kills the Savior manning the mini gun on the back of his truck and Rick pulls up alongside the truck and jumps into the passenger seat. He stabs the driver in the gut and the trucks runs off the road. Rick and Daryl are now in control of the guns they were looking for.
Carol and Jerry assist Zeke through the woods, only staying slightly ahead of the herd. They come upon walkers playing in a toxic chemical spill, explaining what befell the walker they encountered in the woods in “The Damned.” Again, Zeke begs them to leave him, but Jerry won’t abandon his king. Finally, Zeke screams that he’s not a king; he’s just some guy. (Note: Being Some Guy is better than being This Guy, who was an asshole no one will miss.)
Then Shiva appears, reminding us and Zeke that he’s not just Some Guy. He’s Some Guy with a Motherfucking Tiger. Shiva mauls the approaching walkers, but is eventually overwhelmed and eaten. Jerry has to physically restrain Zeke from going to help. By the time Zeke limps through the gates of The Kingdom, it’s clear he’s forever changed.
Bits and Bites
Kudos to showing Ezekiel in his silk scarf, oiling his locs and moisturizing that glorious melanin in the cold open flashback. This almost makes up for Heath’s horrid edges.
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